A November wish, &c.


I know you heard Harry Reid’s infamous statement. Which one, you ask? The one he made recently before a group of his Hispanic supporters. He said, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, okay? Do I need to say more?”

No. In a way, I don’t know how Harry Reid could be majority leader of the United States Senate, okay? Do I need to say more?

It is high time for this spectacularly crude and offensive man to go. Of all the things I want in November, I want nothing more than that Sharron Angle beat him. Oh, people’s heads would explode. Democrats’ heads would explode, of course. (Can you imagine the media coverage?) And so would those of anti-Tea Party Republicans. I think I want Sharron Angle to beat Harry Reid even more than I want Marco Rubio to beat Charlie Crist, which is saying something.

Hey, isn’t Rubio a “Hispanic Republican”? In truth, he’s an American and a human being. That’s a concept, of course, that many people have difficulty with.

Consider another of our majority leader’s greatest hits: the statement that Obama is a “light-skinned” black “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” I fear there is nothing that Harry Reid can’t survive. Maybe Angle’s challenge will be what at last upends him.

She has shown shakiness as a candidate, to be sure. I imagine she’s an underdog. But I think she has a basic integrity — a sincerity, a spirit of goodwill — that is missing in her opponent. (For a write-up I did about Angle, recording early impressions, go here.)

A final comment about Reid, before I stop huffing. (I have many more topics to huff about.) Actually, this is more a comment about his party: Did any Senate Democrats take offense at their leader’s wonderment that any Hispanic could be a Republican? Did any prominent Democrats at large take offense? Did any wince inside? I hope so, but I can’t be sure of it. You?

I’ll tell you what a hot race is: the one for Maryland governor between Martin O’Malley, the Democrat and incumbent, and Robert Ehrlich, the Republican and challenger. Ehrlich used to be the governor, until O’Malley beat him. Now Ehrlich is trying to turn the tables. And he is one of the most interesting and impressive Republicans — and interesting and impressive libertarian-conservatives — in the country.

For a piece I did on him in a June National Review, go here. That piece is called “Back in the Game.” It was the third piece I had written about him — I could be accused of stalking. I first wrote about him while he was governor, in 2005. That piece was called “All-American.” (Ehrlich was a football standout.) Then, when he lost to O’Malley, I did a sort of thanks-and-goodbye piece: “Exit of a Champion.”

Well, not so fast . . .

Another candidate to keep an eye on? This one’s running for the U.S. House, down in Florida. (“Down” for most everybody, right? For most every American, that is.) He is Allen West, a former military man and absolutely fearless: a nice combination of thoughtful and fearless. He is a rock-ribbed Reagan Republican. And, for those keeping racial score — and what do Americans like to do more? — he is black. I wrote about West for a May NR. Go here, if you’re interested.

He has the habit of signing himself “Steadfast and Loyal” — I believe it is true, too. And steadfastness and loyalty are among the most precious human qualities.

What do Americans like to do more than keep racial score? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you what they like to do as much: sue. I think it long ago passed baseball as our national pastime.

A few months ago in New York, I was talking with some diplomats from East Asia. These people had been in America for several years; I had known them a little. I said, “Let’s talk turkey. No need to be diplomatic. What do you dislike about America? What do you think is unattractive about this country?” To break the ice, I gave a little list (racial hang-ups, litigiousness, extreme political correctness in language, etc.). One woman, somewhat hesitantly, said, “Americans don’t save anything. Everything is thrown away, quickly. And things are made not to last.”

Ah, “the disposable society.” We used to talk a fair amount about that one. I had sort of forgotten about it.

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail headed, “An Illustration of Good and Evil.” Well, he must be a terribly simpleminded friend, right? Because there is no such thing as good and evil. Only Manichean blockheads can think so.

Dunno. My friend sent me two pictures; they can be found accompanying a column by the magnificent Jeff Jacoby, here. Here is the caption to one picture: “Hodaya Ames, 9, cries at her parents’ funeral after they were killed by Hamas terrorists last week. Hodaya’s mother was nine months pregnant with her seventh child.” Here is the caption to the other: “Palestinian children in Gaza, waving green Islamic flags and making a victory sign, participate in a rally to celebrate the terrorist attack that killed four Israeli Jews near Hebron on Aug. 31, 2010.” Those “four Israeli Jews” included Hodaya’s parents.

There is a world of commentary — not to mention Commentary — in this, but I have commented for many years, and will move on . . .

But not before saying this: Have you ever seen a picture of Israeli kids celebrating the murder, or even the deaths, of Palestinians? Even of Palestinian terrorists and mass-murderers? Let me know if you spot one.

And just one more comment: It is very, very hard to make peace with people who teach their children to celebrate the murder of your own people. Very, very hard. Which is why, many years ago, I learned to cut the Israelis slack — miles of it.